Blogs

Ford Foundation Appoints Bryan Stevenson to Board of Trustees

The Ford Foundation has announced the election of Bryan Stevenson to serve as a member of its board of trustees. A renowned public interest lawyer, Stevenson is founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama.

“Bryan is a courageous, transformational leader and a stalwart advocate for justice who has done an extraordinary amount to challenge the legacy of racial inequality in this country,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation.

Federal Budget Office Memo Seeks Elimination of Nine Programs Including NEA, NEH, CPB

From The New York Times:

The White House budget office has drafted a hit list of programs that President Trump could eliminate to trim domestic spending, including longstanding conservative targets like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, Americorps, and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities. Work on the first Trump administration has been delayed as the budget office awaited Senate confirmation of former Representative Mick Mulvaney, a spending hard-liner, as budget director. Now that he is in place, his office is ready to move ahead with a list of nine programs to eliminate.
Field Scan Finds Foundations Rely Most on Peer-to-Peer Learning

From The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation:

In a new, first-of-its-kind study of how US foundations access and use knowledge about effective philanthropy, most foundation staff and board members shared that they rely on their peers and colleagues, as opposed to particular organizations or publications, both as their most trusted knowledge sources and as their preferred means to gather knowledge. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation commissioned this research to inform its “Knowledge for Better Philanthropy” grantmaking strategy.
Kennedy Center and NIH Launch Initiative Exploring Music’s Effect on Health and Wellness

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have launched a new partnership called Sound Health, designed to explore the connections between music, health, and wellness. Through this partnership, both institutions will create opportunities to further understand how music affects circuitry in the brain, explore the potential for music as therapy for neurological disorders, identify future research opportunities, and create public awareness about how the brain functions and interacts with music.

Federal Arts Education Update: DeVos, ESSA, and Arts Funding

The early days of the Trump Administration and the 115th Congress have already begun to impact the education policy landscape. Alex Nock of Penn Hill Group has provided a summary update for Grantmakers in the Arts on current events that impact arts education and arts funding on a federal level. These events include the confirmation of a new education secretary, changes to the regulations of the Every Student Succeeds Act, and possible budget changes.

Americans for the Arts Releases Guide on Community Arts and Military Programming

Americans for the Arts has released a new guide, Arts Deployed: An Action Guide for Community Arts & Military Programming, for local arts organizations and artists interested in bringing creative arts programming to military and Veteran communities, their caregivers, and families. A collaboration between AFTA’s National Initiative for Arts & Health and the Military (NIAHM) and the Local Arts Advancement (LAA) department, Arts Deployed details the expansive benefits the arts have on the health and well-being of these communities and lays the groundwork for arts organizations and artists to build their own creative arts initiative for their local military and/or Veteran communities.

Minnesota Arts Nonprofit Declines $500,000 Federal Grant Due to Recent Immigration Policies

The arts-based nonprofit Ka Joog, serving Somali youth in Minnesota, has refused a $500,000 federal grant from the Countering Violent Extremism program of the Department of Homeland Security in response to the Trump administration's recent immigration restrictions. Executive Director Mohamed Farah, who was featured as an IDEA LAB arts leader at the 2016 GIA Conference, stated that the grant was declined on principle and believes that Somali and Muslim communities are being unfairly targeted by government policies.

California Arts Council Announces Planned Departure of Director Craig Watson

The California Arts Council has announced that Director Craig Watson will step down from his role with the agency effective April 2017. As director of the California Arts Council since August 2011, Watson has been responsible for the leadership and oversight leading to the substantial growth and renewal of California's state arts agency. Under Watson's leadership, the budget of the California Arts Council increased from just $5 million in 2011 to nearly $25 million in 2017.

Laura Zucker Interviewed with Heritage Foundation Rep on Possibility of Federal Arts Funding Cuts

Laura Zucker, executive director of Los Angeles County Arts Commission and current GIA board member, was recently interviewed alongside Romina Boccia of The Heritage Foundation about the motivations and potential impacts of eliminating federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The proposal for these cuts was developed by The Heritage Foundation, which is currently advising the Trump administration’s budgetary decisions. The interview discusses The Heritage Foundation's reasoning for proposing these cuts, the role of federal funding in the arts and public media, and how the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors might respond.

Most Read in 2016: What Is Civil Society?

The most-read article in the GIA Library last year, “What Is Civil Society?,” outlines the defining characteristics and necessary conditions of civil society: nonprofits, individual rights, the common good, rule of law, philanthropy, free expression, and tolerance. Written by Scholar and former GIA Board member Bruce Sievers in 2009, the article explores how these seven qualities interact within society and the democratic process. The GIA Library contains an extensive collection of articles, research reports, and other resources covering a wide variety of topics relevant to the arts and arts funding.